Warsaw Will

Joined: December 3, 2010

Number of comments posted: 1202

Number of votes received: 413

I'm a TEFL teacher working in Poland. I have a blog - Random Idea English - where I do some grammar stuff for advanced students and have the occasional rant against pedantry.

Questions Submitted

fewer / less

Natural as an adverb

tonne vs ton

Tell About

“reach out”

Recent Comments

Re: “Anglish”  •  February 25, 2013, 12:58pm  •  0 vote

@Holy Mackerel - Here's one Brit saying that any Brit that told you that is talking out of their proverbial. Unfortunately, there are a few idiots in Britain who think that BrE is the "only true Engli

Re: As of  •  February 25, 2013, 12:19pm  •  0 vote

@jayles - I don't think your definition of Standard English - "as being anything that a well educated English speaker would understand clearly and could use" is that far removed from my "sounding natu

Re: “all but” - I hate that expression!  •  February 25, 2013, 11:53am  •  3 votes

@D.A.W. - Well, it no doubt makes a first that we are in agreement, but without wishing to spoil the moment, I can't understand your objection to "the Sun writes". This is quite standard English and i

Re: “all but” - I hate that expression!  •  February 24, 2013, 4:41pm  •  0 vote

Apparently even newspapers (well, the Sun) get confused with this one. The Sun writes: With all but a monumental collapse now standing between Manchester United and a record 20th league title, all

Re: “Anglish”  •  February 24, 2013, 4:33pm  •  0 vote

@HolyMackerel - I appreciate what you say, but I wouldn't rely overly on Strunk and White. Their bit on the Passive is absolute nonsense, and usage mavens of this sort rarely follow their own advice i

Re: “Anglish”  •  February 24, 2013, 4:28pm  •  0 vote

@Gallitrot - of course anyone can say what they like about the language, although I prefer to avoid passing judgement - I leave that to prescriptivists and pedants. And from reading some of what you'v

Re: Is there any defense of capitalizing after a semicolon?  •  February 24, 2013, 2:27am  •  0 vote

@JohnN - Yes, you're absolutely right, as I found out later when I commented on that LL post. All very embarrassing! I am of course used to seeing (and using) this convention you mention in film and b

Re: “Anglish”  •  February 24, 2013, 2:05am  •  0 vote

Damn, I hit the wrong button! That unfinished sentence should read - And I find changing the meaning of some existing words like "bespeak" really annoying and confusing. When I see it with its standar

Re: “Anglish”  •  February 24, 2013, 1:54am  •  0 vote

OK jayles, and I usually try to avoid these words, but in science they can sometimes add a bit of precision, no doubt. And you could say just the same (about one-upmanship) about business buzzwords, a

Re: “Anglish”  •  February 23, 2013, 11:17am  •  0 vote

@Gallitrot - I'd also quibble with the word "supercilious" being the exact equivalent of "haughty". My dictionary defines "supercilious" as "behaving towards other people as if you think you are bette

Re: “Anglish”  •  February 23, 2013, 5:23am  •  0 vote

@gallitrot - (belatedly) by all means substitute Anglo-Saxon based words for Latin based ones if that's what floats your boat, but at least choose equivalents: "lexicography" is exclusively to do with

Re: “would of” instead of “would have” or “would’ve”  •  February 23, 2013, 4:16am  •  0 vote

@Carl - as this excellent post by linguist Stan Carey at Sentence First shows, it is fairly ubiquitous. http://stancarey.wordpress.com/2012/10/23/would-of-could-of-might-of-must-of/ But comments

Re: “gift of” vs. “gift from”  •  February 23, 2013, 3:59am  •  0 vote

In answer to the question, I agree with mshades, and this dictionary entry supports that: http://oald8.oxfordlearnersdictionaries.com/dictionary/gift But there seems to be one exception - when G

Re: “gift of” vs. “gift from”  •  February 23, 2013, 3:30am  •  0 vote

@mshades - On the contrary, you were quite right to use "between". It's nonsense that "between" can only be used for two, and anyone who gives you a smacking for it has only learnt half a rule. When w

Re: “Anglish”  •  February 23, 2013, 3:19am  •  0 vote

@jayles (who for some reason comes up in Google reader as jayles the unwise). I live and teach Poland (Central Europe), and while Polish has a few words of Germanic origin, it also has quite a lot fro

Re: As of  •  February 22, 2013, 11:30am  •  0 vote

@Jo - that ending was a bit harsh, so I'll add a couple of these - :)), :))

Re: As of  •  February 22, 2013, 11:10am  •  0 vote

@Jo - Ah, "correct English", that's a topic and a half, and I bet that you and I come at that from completely different angles. For me what is important is whether something sounds natural, not what s

Re: As of  •  February 21, 2013, 12:24pm  •  0 vote

@jo - Google brings up plenty of examples "quitting as of", and there are a couple of hundred in Google Books (i.e. proofread, edited material). Enough to suggest, perhaps, that this could in fact be

Re: from among  •  February 21, 2013, 11:57am  •  1 vote

Hi andreea. it wasn't meant to be a dig at you, but at all the rest of us. Unfortunately I didn't read your comment properly before I did all that. If I had, I could have saved myself some work. But I

Re: from among  •  February 20, 2013, 9:09am  •  0 vote

Interesting question. I can't think why it took so long for someone to answer. A quick check for "selected from among" on Google Books suggests that sometimes there seems to be no difference: "sele

Re: “Bring” vs. “Take” differences in UK and American English  •  February 19, 2013, 11:44am  •  1 vote

@v pinches - Few commentators nowadays see any problem with using hopefully as a sentence adverb. In fact, I doubt that it is used that much to mean in a hopeful manner, and in any case there's unlike

Re: Actress instead of Actor  •  February 19, 2013, 11:21am  •  1 vote

@Tom Rose - I have to confess it always amuses me when the Guardian write something like - "such and such an actor has just won the Award for Best Actress". But more seriously, long before feminis

Re: “Anglish”  •  February 17, 2013, 3:46am  •  0 vote

@Gallitrot - you're quite free to use what language you want, and to avoid fancy foreign words if you like. I rather enjoy your use of words like "manifold", "bespattered" and "haughtiness". You're al

Re: Idea Vs. Ideal  •  February 17, 2013, 2:51am  •  0 vote

@Jan Morrow - does that mean you have no ideals (noun)? :)) More interestingly, there are times when either could be appropriate. Here are some example sentences from four different advanced learne

Re: “Anglish”  •  February 17, 2013, 2:38am  •  0 vote

@HolyMackerel - I understand your position, and certainly don't equate you with some of the loonier ideas on this page. But I do find this 'Anglish' business at best a fantasy based on a misunderstand

Re: “Anglish”  •  February 16, 2013, 1:17pm  •  0 vote

@Gallitrot - according to David Crystal, the period of greatest French influence was not that of the Conquest, nor that of the eighteenth century inkhorns (who were in a minority in the educated class

Re: “Me neither.” or “Me either”  •  February 16, 2013, 12:17pm  •  0 vote

@Hairy Scot - "Nor I", would be pretty formal, I think. "Nor me" sounds more neutral to me. Some possible answers, in descending order of formality, the numbers are the number of hits in the British N

Re: “Anglish”  •  February 16, 2013, 11:35am  •  0 vote

@HolyMackerel - The beauty, no, I grant you. But the size and variety of the language does reflect the diversity of sources, to which you are quite right to add Norse and Gaelic. The latter might not

Re: “Anglish”  •  February 16, 2013, 5:46am  •  0 vote

@Holymackerel - As far as I can see, apart from poem (1540s replacing ME poesy), all your examples are in fact from the earlier part of Middle English or even earlier: place - c1200 (or earlier) -

Re: “my” vs. “mine” in multiple owner possessive  •  February 15, 2013, 5:45am  •  0 vote

@John Gibson - and your second example has the advantage that the possessive pronoun comes after "child", so it now has an antecedent. But I agree with you that the last is probably most natural.

Re: “Anglish”  •  February 15, 2013, 5:40am  •  0 vote

@John Gibson - I think you've got a very good point. Instead of trying to recreate some phoney purist language which never existed (there were Latin elements in the various languages that melded into

Re: Impact as a noun  •  February 11, 2013, 1:16pm  •  0 vote

@Anthony123 - Sorry, that link doesn't work any more. The publishers must have changed their policy, which is a great shame, as I and others have often used it as a reference in these pages. Here's an

Re: gifting vs. giving a gift  •  February 11, 2013, 12:19pm  •  2 votes

@David Teangue - it's not an advertisement, it's simply the book's page in Google Books. Until very recently the whole book was available to read online at Google Books, but unfortunately the publishe

Re: Impact as a noun  •  February 10, 2013, 11:59pm  •  0 vote

@Anthony123 - Yes, some people have problems with "impact" as a verb now, but there was an earlier controversy in the 1960s over its use as a noun to mean "effect" etc. At that time some people though

Re: “all but” - I hate that expression!  •  February 9, 2013, 5:56pm  •  0 vote

Something strange happened in that first sentence - it should of course have read - I don't really see how you can purchase .... Unfortunately there are a couple of other typos as well.

Re: “all but” - I hate that expression!  •  February 9, 2013, 5:50pm  •  1 vote

Hola Jose. Are you sure you didn't mishear? I don't really see how can you purchase part of your salary? Surely he spent all but 8 cents of his salary on war bonds, or he invested all but 8 cents of h

Re: Is there any defense of capitalizing after a semicolon?  •  February 9, 2013, 7:42am  •  0 vote

@Skeeter. Perhaps you're right. Here's a capital after a comma, in the New York Times, of all places: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/02/07/technology/personaltech/microsofts-surface-pro-works-like-a-t

Re: Is there any defense of capitalizing after a semicolon?  •  February 8, 2013, 9:55am  •  0 vote

Sorry Skeeter, I didn't read your comments very well. I see you've been talking about colons all along. But as the question was about semicolons I sort of assumed ... :):) @shay - I don't know why

Re: Hi all vs. Hi everybody  •  February 7, 2013, 1:09pm  •  0 vote

@ Brus - "Here in Thailand, we bow ..." - Well, you certainly assimilate quickly, don't you? I can just imagine you saying, when you used to live in Scotland, "Here in Scotland we say - See yous all l

Re: Is there any defense of capitalizing after a semicolon?  •  February 7, 2013, 12:52pm  •  0 vote

Hi Skeeter. I doubt that it has anything to do with the Americans; they are a lot stricter on so-called "correct" semicolon use, and in fact punctuation in general, than we are. In an overbearing rev

Re: Is there any defense of capitalizing after a semicolon?  •  February 6, 2013, 12:49pm  •  3 votes

That's a pretty big convention you want to overturn there. The only way you'd get it published is to self-publish, I'd imagine. But I don't really see your problem: when we see a semi-colon linking tw

Re: Where used you to live?  •  February 5, 2013, 9:18pm  •  0 vote

@BigD - I have vague memories that I was taught at school some fifty years ago that imperfect does indeed include 'used to', and checking Wikipedia I see you are right there, so I concede to you on th

Re: Where used you to live?  •  February 5, 2013, 11:42am  •  0 vote

@Big D -"before you came here" is a specific time in the past; we don't have to have a specified beginning date. "It all happened before the war ", "She died before he was born", "How did people manag

Re: “I’ve got” vs. “I have”  •  February 2, 2013, 12:26am  •  0 vote

@Curious indeed - that should read - not many people contract "I have to" to "I've to" ... "I've got to". With simple "have" I grant that it happens much more often: "Hey, I've an idea.", "I've a good

Re: “I’ve got” vs. “I have”  •  February 1, 2013, 3:04pm  •  1 vote

@Curious indeed - you might, but it would seem that not so many others would: "I've to say" - Google hits - 3 million "I've got to say" - Google hits - 62 million "I have to say" - Google hits -

Re: Team names — singular or plural  •  January 31, 2013, 11:53am  •  1 vote

@BrockawayBaby - 18 months later. I'm afraid it's not as simple as that. Let's take the word 'government'. After an election we might say "There is a new government", but later on that the government

Re: Team names — singular or plural  •  January 31, 2013, 11:22am  •  1 vote

And it equally pains me to hear that the family, a bunch of flesh and blood individuals, "is" coming for Christmas. It is, as AnWulf says, a British thing. We usually see group nouns or collective no

Re: optimiSe or optimiZe ?  •  January 30, 2013, 11:44am  •  0 vote

I had a look at that Metadyne piece linked to above and have one or two issues with it. My (very) detailed response with lots of examples can be found here: http://random-idea-english.blogspot.com/

Re: hanged vs. hung  •  January 25, 2013, 12:26pm  •  0 vote

@Hairy Scot - You've got a thing about this, haven't you? Nice story. But table service in a Scottish bar? :) @dracula - from Online Etymology Dictionary: Hung emerged as pp. in the 16c. in nort

Re: hanged vs. hung  •  January 25, 2013, 12:16pm  •  1 vote

@dracula - could you perhaps enlighten us disgraceful, naive and uneducated but ever eager to learn masses as to how you came across this strange theory that there is a verb - "hang, hanged, hung", wh

Re: “and yet”  •  January 25, 2013, 11:50am  •  3 votes

I'm with porsche, JMMB, nigel and douglas.bryant. And so, it would seem, are quite a few dictionaries. Here are few sentences given as examples as how to use 'yet': He has a good job, and yet he ne

Re: misnomer  •  January 23, 2013, 11:32am  •  0 vote

@EW Thornton - Sorry, but I beg to disagree. Mr Blues specifically referred to people "labelling and designating" Blues music as simple (presumably as opposed to complex). Now if this is true, and I'm

Re: Computer mouses or computer mice?  •  January 22, 2013, 9:44am  •  0 vote

Hi, Brus. Back from your travels already? I could always try doing a Captain Mainwaring and say "I was wondering which of one you would be the first to spot my deliberate mistake", but I don't suppose

Re: misnomer  •  January 22, 2013, 9:16am  •  0 vote

I still think No 2 at Oxford and 2b at the American Heritage Dictionary cover it - Mr Blues says explicitly that other people have labelled or designated (i.e. named) Blues as 'simple' music, a name t

Re: “my” vs. “mine” in multiple owner possessive  •  January 21, 2013, 11:21am  •  0 vote

Hi porsche, I'm still not so sure. I totally agree that all the sentences you've given are unambiguous, but they're all the results of our interpretation of the original sentence. OK, as sbee then ask

Re: misnomer  •  January 20, 2013, 9:48am  •  4 votes

This is the definition of 'misnomer' at Oxford Online Dictionaries: 1. a wrong or inaccurate name or designation - ‘King crab’ is a misnomer—these creatures are not crustaceans at all 2. a wrong or

Re: optimiSe or optimiZe ?  •  January 19, 2013, 1:25am  •  0 vote

@WW - I hate to say it, but I misread some of those graphs - in fact optimize with a z was the clear winner from the start. With the older -ise/-ize words, -ise seems to have been dominant between th

Re: Computer mouses or computer mice?  •  January 18, 2013, 3:45pm  •  1 vote

@LG - being facetious, on that basis there is no plural of MOUSE, as equipment is uncountable and has no plural. So if you want to buy one, you should really ask for a piece of MOUSE. Incidentally, so

Re: Comparisons and Superlatives of Colours  •  January 18, 2013, 3:19pm  •  1 vote

You're quite right, Kingsley, reder and redest are not acceptable under the rules that guide the English language, but redder and reddest are. As for reddish, meaning fairly red or somewhat red, can y

Re: Impact as a noun  •  January 17, 2013, 1:12pm  •  0 vote

A propos of 'verbing', you may have heard of the game 'buzzword bingo', there is even an app for it. Well, Stan Carey at Sentence First, has produced a 'Usage Peeve Bingo' card, with all the old favou

Re: “get in contact”  •  January 17, 2013, 12:56pm  •  0 vote

@HS - if you're ever back this way, this graph from Ngram should make you happy: http://books.google.com/ngrams/graph?content=get+in+contact%2Cget+in+touch%2Ckeep+in+contact%2Ckeep+in+touch&year_star

Re: Past tense of “text”  •  January 17, 2013, 12:52pm  •  4 votes

@Alison - how on earth can 'ex' be a vowel sound? - If anything it's a vowel plus a double consonant sound - 'eks'. Are 'es' and 'is' also vowel sounds? Why should 'ext' in 'text' be treated any diffe

Re: Impact as a noun  •  January 15, 2013, 2:59pm  •  0 vote

I've just read the question again, and realised I'd misread this thread the first time, assuming that someone was objecting to impact as a verb, as some people do nowadays. I'd never heard of anybody

Re: Possessive with acromyms ending in S  •  January 15, 2013, 2:21pm  •  1 vote

Actually, the original function of the apostrophe was to show a missing vowel, a use we still see today in contractions - 'I'm, he's, she'd' etc. As far as I understand, the reason that it is used for

Re: thus, therefore and hence are different  •  January 15, 2013, 2:00pm  •  9 votes

Sorry, this is going to sound like a lesson, but I am a teacher, and I write a language blog for foreign learners, so that’s how I’m used to doing it. (In fact this has given me an idea for a blog pos

Re: Impact as a noun  •  January 15, 2013, 12:58pm  •  0 vote

Well, I'm glad I'm one of the common people and not one of these people who go round telling others what they can and can't do. Even the famous William Safire, who thought this use inelegant, conceded

Re: optimiSe or optimiZe ?  •  January 14, 2013, 12:50pm  •  0 vote

@WW - prioritise /proritize is of course a newish verb made from a noun, used predominantly in business, and I think the Z version may be more common here. Other newish businessy verbs made from nouns

Re: optimiSe or optimiZe ?  •  January 14, 2013, 12:39pm  •  0 vote

The changeover seemed to have happened rather earlier than WW2. These graphs are all for British books: realise / realize - http://books.google.com/ngrams/graph?content=realise%2Crealize&year_start

Re: thus, therefore and hence are different  •  January 14, 2013, 12:09pm  •  1 vote

@Alexander - I more or less agree with your definition of 'thereby', although I'd tend more to 'in this way, in this manner'. But the use in your examples is not how I understand the way we use thereb

Re: You Joking Me?  •  January 13, 2013, 10:10am  •  0 vote

I burst out laughing (or perhaps I should say I Iolled) when I read Anonymous's "correction" of Rufus, saying 'gotta' was a contraction of 'got to', not 'have go to', giving the examples: You've go

Re: “I’ve got” vs. “I have”  •  January 13, 2013, 1:23am  •  0 vote

@jayles - OK, we can agree on something, at least. In some contexts, there is very little difference between "have to" and "must", and your example is a good one. But there are some essential grammar

Re: Pronunciation of indefinite article “a”  •  January 12, 2013, 4:47pm  •  0 vote

@HS - do you mean some people pronounce the first syllable as in "break"? I've never heard that.

Re: “I’ve got” vs. “I have”  •  January 12, 2013, 4:41pm  •  1 vote

@HS - Why on earth anyone would want to avoid perfectly good idiomatic English is beyond me, but I suppose it was a joke. Your examples of "must "from South Africa, by the way, are just how "must" is

Re: “I’ve got” vs. “I have”  •  January 12, 2013, 2:15am  •  0 vote

@Hairy Scot - Yes, when we want to be more formal or use more elegant language, we use "have", "have to" and standard passive, but in British English, most of us prefer to use good old-fashioned idiom

Re: Rules for -ise and -ize  •  January 11, 2013, 11:31am  •  1 vote

Sorry, but this is one of the things I love about English: the fact that it doesn't follow cold logic. Language is as much about the heart as the mind; if we were going to be logical about it, we'd al

Re: “I’ve got” vs. “I have”  •  January 11, 2013, 7:55am  •  0 vote

@joelackey92 - to back up Thomas Smith, there is absolutely no difference in meaning between "She has brown hair" and "She's got brown hair". "Have got" is simply an idiomatic version of "have" for po

Re: Colon and semicolon in a single sentence  •  January 10, 2013, 11:58am  •  0 vote

@Intuit Flow - I think your colon is OK, but not the semicolon after the coordinating conjunction "so". But if you changed "so" to the conjunctive adverb "consequently" it should work: He’d been wa

Re: One of the most...  •  January 10, 2013, 12:09am  •  0 vote

@Jasper - except few would consider either of your examples as errors. :)

Re: “my” vs. “mine” in multiple owner possessive  •  January 10, 2013, 12:03am  •  0 vote

@Hairy Scot - touché

Re: One of the most...  •  January 9, 2013, 2:44pm  •  0 vote

I think this graph says it all really: http://books.google.com/ngrams/graph?content=one+of+the+most%2Cone+of+the+more&year_start=1800&year_end=2000&corpus=15&smoothing=3&share= It may not be addres

Re: “as long as” vs. “so long as”  •  January 9, 2013, 2:07pm  •  1 vote

According to Merriam-Webster Dictionary of English Usage, the "not so ... as ..." used to be the regular form in negative comparatives; it's "as ... as ..." that is the relative newcomer (for negative

Re: Plural of name ending in Y  •  January 9, 2013, 10:46am  •  0 vote

For anyone who thinks anonymous might be right, try googling "the kennedies" and you'lll get your answer.

Re: “my” vs. “mine” in multiple owner possessive  •  January 9, 2013, 10:37am  •  0 vote

@semiotek - I agree that what you say is the answer to the original question, but the rest is not just about style, it's about sounding natural. I just don't think that "my and Gregg's child" is natur

Re: “as long as” vs. “so long as”  •  January 8, 2013, 12:34am  •  0 vote

As nearly everyone has already said, when they mean "provided that" in a conditional - they are interchangeable. But I don't quite agree about comparisons. In "as ... as" comparisons; "so" can re

Re: “my” vs. “mine” in multiple owner possessive  •  January 8, 2013, 12:08am  •  0 vote

@Sbee - I know it's not what you asked, but the more I think about it, the less reason I see to mention either Gregg or me; the other person knows whose child is involved. If we introduce our daughter

Re: “my” vs. “mine” in multiple owner possessive  •  January 7, 2013, 9:08pm  •  3 votes

@Dyske - OK, but I think Gregg's child should come first in that case to make clear what "mine" is referring to: "I so appreciate you Gregg’s child and mine to school today.” In fact, it's not

Re: “my” vs. “mine” in multiple owner possessive  •  January 7, 2013, 11:41am  •  3 votes

No. "Mine" is only used on its own, not before a noun: “I so appreciate you taking my and Gregg’s child to school today.” - but I would suggest "our child" or the kid's name would be more natural t

Re: You’ve got another think/thing coming  •  January 6, 2013, 9:14am  •  0 vote

@Traduttore and Bill S - I'm sure you're right.It's just that for somebody of my generation brought up knowing only the think version, and having the logic of that deeply engrained in us, it's difficu

Re: Preferred forms  •  January 6, 2013, 9:00am  •  0 vote

Hi again. Oxford Dictionaries put "et" first, so I'm not sure know where you get the idea it's thought of as uneducated - verb (past ate /ɛt, eɪt/), and I would have thought it to be pretty standard O

Re: Preferred forms  •  January 6, 2013, 6:23am  •  0 vote

A propos of nothing and one for British contributors. I think this is more about age than accent - but do you pronounce "ate" to rhyme with "bet" or "late"? Skeeter? Hairy?

Re: Preferred forms  •  January 6, 2013, 6:03am  •  0 vote

@Skeeter Lewis - re half-tones - there's a scene in an episode of "Keeping Up Appearances", when Hyacinth says to the unfortunate Richard - "I hope you're not going to spoil the day with lower-middle

Re: Preferred forms  •  January 6, 2013, 5:48am  •  0 vote

Up until the 70s, BBC English more or less meant RP, and so for many people of my generation the two expressions are nearly synonymous. Here's David Crystal in "The Stories of English" - "By then (192

Re: Preferred forms  •  January 6, 2013, 5:09am  •  0 vote

@Skeeter Lewis. I would say you're being a wee bit restrictive there. I certainly didn't go to Oxbridge, for example, although I did go to a public school. Public schools are certainly the bastion of

Re: Big fish, small pond  •  January 6, 2013, 3:13am  •  0 vote

A bit late perhaps, but I'm with pain, porsche and Hamlet on this one, in that the expression is often heard with "better", or is about choice - Law for Dummies asks, "Would you rather be a big fish

Re: Preferred forms  •  January 6, 2013, 2:58am  •  0 vote

@Hairy Scot - It is to my deep regret that I don't have a Scottish accent, or any other regional accent. RP, "Received pronunciation"as Skeeter Lewis says, is simply an accent that doesn't have any re

Re: Preferred forms  •  January 5, 2013, 2:19am  •  0 vote

How about "oo" in poor. My phonetics trainer (London) insisted it was /ɔ:/ (to sound like paw), but for us in Scotland it's /ʊə/ (like tour) (even for me with my RP). Mind you, for many Scots, food rh

Re: Preferred forms  •  January 4, 2013, 12:38pm  •  0 vote

@HS - saying "an 'otel" or "an 'istoric" at least has some sort of logic to it, if being somewhat old-fashioned. But using "an" before a sounded "h" makes no sense at all; that's not what "an" is for.

Re: Preferred forms  •  January 4, 2013, 10:42am  •  0 vote

It could be argued that Americans who pronounce herb without the "H" and stress ballet on the second syllable are actually being closer to the original French than we are. It wasn't so long ago that s

Re: Misplaced clauses?  •  January 4, 2013, 10:20am  •  2 votes

@Thredder - Good point. I think it's because they've added stuff like "to study" and "after applying", which weren't in the original, that makes it clumsy. If they'd kept it more like the original, I

Re: Someone else’s  •  January 4, 2013, 10:14am  •  0 vote

@mike storer - I agree with you, whoever would? I'd simply change to possessive "of" in these cases - "The faces of all the passers-by fell ...", "The families of both the sisters-in-law ..". Seems so

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